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Window Fitter

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Window Fitter

The Work

As a window fitter you would install new or replacement windows, conservatories and glazed curtain walls in homes and businesses. You might work with traditional wooden- and metal-framed products as well as modern UPVC units.

You would normally be assisted by a fitter's ‘mate’. Your duties would include:

  • removing old windows and doors with hand and power tools
  • measuring up the space(s) for the new windows or doors
  • fixing the units in place, making sure they are level and secure
  • sealing the fittings to make them weathertight
  • cleaning away leftover materials and making good any damage to indoor timber or plasterwork.

As well as fitting windows on site, you might also manufacture the glazing units. See the job profile for Glazier for more details about this area of work.

As an experienced window fitter, you might also use your skills to repair and replace windows in old buildings.

Hours and Environment

You would work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, with possible overtime when necessary.

You would work both indoors and outside, using ladders or scaffolding to reach the upper storeys of buildings. The work can be physically demanding, with some heavy lifting involved.

Skills and Interests


  • an awareness of safe working practices when handling glass
  • good customer service skills
  • practical ability
  • maths skills to make accurate measurements and adjustments
  • the ability to work both alone and as part of a small team
  • a reasonable level of fitness
  • a good head for heights
  • the ability to plan and organise workloads to meet deadlines.

Entry

Often the best way to get into this job is to apply directly to glazing companies. Previous experience in carpentry and joinery may be helpful in getting an entry-level job as a fitter's 'mate'.

You may be able to get into this career through an Apprenticeship with a glazing company. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

Qualifications are not essential for this job, although you should feel comfortable with maths, for measuring. If you are starting with an Apprenticeship, some employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs including maths or design and technology, or equivalent qualifications such as the BTEC Introductory Certificate/Diploma in Construction or the new 14-19 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.

You may need a driving licence for travelling between jobs.

Training

You would normally be given trained on the job, working alongside an experienced fitter. Your training would cover the removal and fitting of window frames, safe working practices and customer service. You would then work alongside an experienced fitter.

You may be encouraged to take the following work-based qualifications:

  • NVQ Level 2 in Fenestration Installation
  • NVQ Level 3 in Fenestration Installation and Surveying
  • NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Glazing.

You can find out more about these qualifications and details of regional assessment centres by visiting the Glass Qualifications Authority website.

You could improve your career prospects by taking short professional development courses offered by Glass Training Limited, covering subjects such as health and safety, communications and team development. They also offer a fast track employee development programme that can be tailored to your specific training needs. See the Glass Training Ltd. website for more details.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Many building contractors now insist that you have a CSCS card to work on their sites. The card is proof of your skills and competence. To get your card you must:

  • pass a health and safety assessment
  • have an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

If you are working without qualifications, you may be able to use On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card. Contact CSCS or SkillsDirect for further details.

Opportunities

You may find opportunities with large national firms or smaller local companies. Vacancies may be advertised in the local press and Jobcentre Plus, or you could contact companies directly.

With experience, you could become a window surveyor and/or estimator, or move into glazing sales and marketing.

Eventually, you could set up your own business or take up a window fitting franchise.

You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading (links open in new window):

Glass and Glazing Products Magazine
Directgov (Jobseekers page)

We do not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.

Annual Income


  • Starting salaries for trainees can be around £14,000 a year.
  • Qualified and experienced fitters can earn around £20,000 to £30,000.

Overtime and shift allowances can increase income. Self-employed fitters set their own rates.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 

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